Wuhan marathon postponed as COVID-19 cases surge in China

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Oct 24, 2021, 04:38 PM(IST)

A woman and a boy wearing face masks walk on a street in Wuhan Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

China reported 26 new domestic COVID-19 cases on Sunday.Authorities have been making attempts to contain virus infections using mass testing of residents and targeted lockdowns

The Wuhan Marathon, which had been due to take place on Sunday, has been postponed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, just ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

China reported 26 new domestic COVID-19 cases on Sunday.Authorities have been making attempts to contain virus infections using mass testing of residents and targeted lockdowns. However, with a rise in cases, organisers of the Wuhan Marathon said in a statement released that they would postpone

Sunday's event in the central Chinese city "to prevent the risk of epidemic spread".

The marathon was expected to have 26,000 participants taking part in races, including full and half marathons in the city where coronavirus was first identified towards the end of 2019. Next weekend's 40th edition of the Beijing marathon could also be delayed, local media outlet Beijing Daily reported Sunday

Recently, the authorities also announced the suspension of cross-provincial tour groups in five areas where cases have been detected, including Beijing. "The risk that the outbreak spreads further is still increasing," warned National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng.

Some cities, including Gansu's provincial capital of Lanzhou, and parts of Inner Mongolia have also suspended bus and taxi services, authorities said.

Beijing on Wednesday will mark 100 days before the Winter Olympics, which are set to open on February 4. Organisers admitted earlier this month that they "face great pressure" because of COVID-19.

The upcoming games could be the most restricted mass sporting event since the pandemic began. 

Also read | Beijing offering COVID-19 booster shots four months ahead of Olympics

There have been no international spectators allowed and a vaccine mandate for anyone entering a strictly enforced "bubble".Also, the athletes need to be vaccinated or face 21-day quarantine upon entry to China.

Authorities in China have started offering booster shots against the deadly coronavirus disease in Beijing and surrounding regions. 

People who are 18 or older, and have received two-dose Chinese vaccines and belong to at-risk groups, including those participating, organising or working on games facilities, would be eligible for the additional shot.

To get rid of a new outbreak, which has been linked to a group of tourists, authorities in China have closed schools, cancelled hundreds of flights and have ramped up mass testing.

According to reports by AFP, the new outbreak is traced to an elderly couple who were in a group of other tourists. They had started their trip in Shanghai before going to Xi'an, Gansu province and Inner Mongolia. 

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